DIY Summer Journal



DIY Summer Journal and Free "Adventure is Out There" Printable on

This post first appeared on Skip to My Lou as a part of their Fun Crafts for Kids Series.


I find it very very easy to slip into a lazy routine during the summer. It seems like we always start out the summer  with good intentions with schedules, and reading times and chores, but by August we’re just laying around the house all day.

One of the things that I devised to help avoid this is to have my kids keep summer journals.  We designate a time every day to sit down and write about what’s going on. If we’ve been somewhere fun (like to the movies) I have my kids glue in their ticket stubs into the journal too. That way at the end of the summer they have a fun memory of all the things we did, and it also helps them to keep up their writing skills over the summer. I also love to do the same thing with my kids when we go on family vacations.

DIY Summer Journal and Free "Adventure is Out There" Printable on


Being a big fan of the movie UP I decided to borrow a little bit of inspiration from Disney this year for our annual summer journals. I made an “Adventure is Out There” printable for the front of the journal (You can download it for free on my blog, just click here).  

Keeping with that same theme I also covered the front of the journal with an old map!  If you’re headed somewhere fun for summer vacation you could use the map from the place you are going to visit.

Want to make one? Here’s what you’ll need:

DIY Summer Journal and Free "Adventure is Out There" Printable on


Composition Notebook

Glue Stick

Map at least as big as your notebook

an Exacto knife

Washi Tape

Free Printable Title (download here)

DIY Summer Journal and Free "Adventure is Out There" Printable on


Print and cut out the title for the notebook. I put two on a page for you.

Next loosely cut your map about 2″ bigger than the front of your notebook. On the left side of the map, use a straight edge to get a straight, clean cut.


DIY Summer Journal and Free "Adventure is Out There" Printable on

With your glue stick apply glue to the back of the map generously.  Glue the map to the front of the notebook with the straight edge you cut on the map flush with the spine of the notebook. Rub the map well to distribute the glue.


DIY Summer Journal and Free "Adventure is Out There" Printable on

Flip the notebook over and using an exacto knife and a cutting mat, cut the map flush with the edge of the notebook. Depending on the age of your kids you may want to do this step for them. My 12 year olds can be trusted with an excacto knife, but double check before you let your kids use one.

DIY Summer Journal and Free "Adventure is Out There" Printable on

Use a bit of washi tape to cover the edge of the map next to the spine of the notebook.

Repeat for the back cover of the notebook. The last step is to glue the title to the front of the book.

That’s it! Now all you’ve got to do is convince your kids to write in it!


This project has been updated for 2015. To see the updates CLICK HERE! 

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Melissa Mortenson is the author of the Polka Dot Chair blog which is in its 7th year of sharing fresh and creative ideas with readers. She is the author of “Project Teen, Handmade Gifts your Teen will Actually Love”. Her first fabric line “Derby Style” debuted in January 2015 through Riley Blake Designs. A mom of 3, she considers herself lucky to be living in Kentucky.


  1. cherie says

    These are absolutely adorable!!! The perfect gift idea that I have been dreaming to give my nieces that graduated from high school and about to start college:) Would it be possible to print them without the “summer 2014” written on them? Sure love all of your amazing talent!!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Stephanie says

    Hello, I think that I would use modge podge or even clear contact paper to apply the cover to the book. Just a thought :)

  3. Tara Harrison says

    Are you planning on making a new “Adventure is out there” for 2015? I would love to use this with my kiddos!


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